EU Green Week event | Mental health, well-being and the environment

IEEP, ISGlobal and Mental Health Europe are co-hosting an interactive online dialogue to discuss the nexus between the state of the environment and people’s mental health and how European policies and the COVID-19 recovery plans can mainstream them for people-centred and nature-based future.

Tues, 25 May 2021
15:00-17:00 CET

Register here

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that people exposed to certain air pollutants are more likely to experience mental health problems Poorly planned urban settings with unsustainable transport systems and a lack of access to green areas increase air pollution, noise and heat, reduce opportunities for physical activity, and have a negative impact on people’s physical and mental health. The state of our mental health and natural environment are thus intimately intertwined.

The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) produced a background paper and a policy brief on this correlation. These focus on both the environmental stressors as a threat to mental health and the role of nature as enabler of better mental health outcomes.

The socio-health benefits of nature need to be more widely recognised and nature-based initiatives should be prioritised to regenerate cities (e.g., urban forests, parks and gardens, urban farms, green roofs, green walls, and tree-lined streets) provide benefits to health and well-being. The paper provides a set of policy recommendations to ensure consistent consideration of the impact of environmental determinants of mental health and well-being in policy planning and decision-making processes in the European Union (EU). The COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans and the zero-pollution action plan expected in 2021 provide a unique opportunity to put citizens’ health and well-being at the centre of policymaking.

The aim of this event is to provide an open space for dialogue to experts working in think tanks, NGOs, European institutions and the scientific community. Participants will be sharing perspectives, ideas, and experiences in breakout rooms on the online platform Zoom in the presence of moderators.

Agenda

15:00 Welcome and house rules by Moderator Tsvetelina Filipova (IEEP)

15:10 Keynote address by MEP Cyrus Engerer, Member of European Parliament Committe on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Coalition for Mental Health and Wellbeing

15:20 Key messages

  • Céline Charveriat, Executive Director, IEEP
  • Oriana Ramirez, Global Health Policy Analysis Coordinator, and Ximena Goldberg, Assistant Research Professor, ISGlobal
  • Catherine Brogan, President, Mental Health Europe
  • Tadhg Macintyre, Project Coordinator, Go Green Routes Program H2020, Health Research Institute

16:10 Breakout rooms

16:45 Plenary session

17:00 Ends

Some questions we would like to address are:

  • How to ensure that mental health and well-being considerations are mainstreamed in the implementation of the European Green Deal and reflected in the Zero Pollution action plan, Biodiversity strategy and other policy areas?
  • Which EU policies are or can become enablers of systemic consideration of the interlinkages between the state of the environment and mental health and well-being?
  • What are the obstacles? What prevents us from creating a healthy environment for healthier citizens?

We strive to create an open space where all voices can feel welcomed. Participants are kindly asked to come ready to share their knowledge and experiences, and to hear the ideas of others!

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